A Literary Evening: Lord Melvyn Bragg Presents 'Back in the Day'

A Literary Evening: Lord Melvyn Bragg Presents 'Back in the Day'

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The Beaumont

8 Brown Hart Gardens



United Kingdom

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In his debut memoir, acclaimed novelist and broadcaster Lord Bragg reflects on the people and places in the Cumbrian town that shaped him.

About this event

The Beaumont Hotel continues its popular in-person literary series, bringing together Britain's best and brightest non-fiction writers to read from their latest works.

Prior to each reading, discussion and audience questions, guests are invited to enjoy a drinks reception with canapés in the hotel's Lotos Room, the private dining room appropriately named after one of New York's oldest Literary Club. As part of the ticket price, each guest will also receive a copy of Back in the Day (Hodder & Stoughton) by Lord Bragg.


In this captivating memoir, Lord Bragg revisits and reflects on his life from childhood to adulthood in the Cumbrian market town of Wigton, from the early years alone with his mother while his father fought in the war to the moment he left the town. It is the tale of a working-class boy who grew up in a pub and expected to leave school at 15; who happily roamed the streets and raided orchards with his friends yet had a chronic breakdown when he was 13, forcing him to find new survival strategies; who was deeply embedded in a close-knit community, and experiencing the joys of first love, yet also found himself drawn to a mentor keen to steer him towards the challenge of an Oxford scholarship.

It is equally the tale of the place that formed him: an elegy for a community-spirited northern town with its factories and churches and chapels steeped in the old ways, but on the cusp of rapid post-war change; and a celebration of the glorious Lakeland landscapes which inspired Bragg from an early age. He conjures vivid portraits of his parents, relatives and the people he grew up with, many of them seemingly ordinary people with an extraordinary range of interests and hobbies, from the pub regulars to vicars, from teachers to shop keepers to hard men. The book evokes such enduring rituals as the horse fair, hound-trailing, potato-picking week, carnival, school dances and teen skiffle groups, in a compelling and poignant recreation of a vanished era. This is a memoir which explores and embraces all the many crossroads and choices of childhood, as adolescence takes hold. Lord Bragg’s love letter to his home town and the people who shaped him is imbued with all the luminous wonder of those indelible early memories which nurtured his future life as a writer, broadcaster, and champion of the arts.


18.30 Drinks and canapés

19.15 In-Conversation with Lord Bragg

Tickets £40 and include a copy of Back in the Day (Hodder & Stoughton) by Lord Bragg.


Lord Bragg is a writer and broadcaster whose first novel, For Want of a Nail, was published in 1965. His novels since include The Maid of Buttermere, The Soldier's Return, A Son of War, Credo and Now is the Time, which won the Parliamentary Book Award for fiction in 2016. His books have also been awarded the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the WHSmith Literary Award, and have been longlisted three times for the Booker Prize (including the Lost Man Booker Prize). He has also written several works of non-fiction, including The Adventure of English and The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.

A Literary Evening: Lord Melvyn Bragg Presents 'Back in the Day' image
A Literary Evening: Lord Melvyn Bragg Presents 'Back in the Day' image

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